Reviews for Where the Grass Grows Green I: We May Yet Stand
Guest chapter 22 . 11/14/2015
I can't decide whether I feel mad at you for such an open ending or if I'm simply excited for the next part. Probably a bit of both. ;)
But really, I enjoyed this fic tremendously. Great job with such a well crafted story. I look forward to book II and hope we'll meet a lot of these characters again then.

Thank you for writing this! 3
The Lauderdale chapter 22 . 11/12/2015
One stray typo from the previous chapter (21):
[Saw green stones and white horses, and he woke with the words of a dead man rigging in his ears.]
Should be "ringing."

-.-.-.-

Re: Échen's bindings, did they gag him? Because if they wanted to make sure to leave marks on him with their bindings, I hope it occurred to them to gag him - otherwise anyone who hears his story is likely to wonder why he didn't call out.

Randomly, I wonder how old Échen is supposed to be. Fastred thinking of him as "small one" and the gangling description in the early chapter makes me think 12, but that's a guess.

[Then he moved. *Then he moved.* Then he slowly moved out of hiding out of the shadow; out to where he could see that the Road was empty.] Beautiful use of repetition here and in the previous paragraph.

["They may have guessed that the fighting aims at freeing the king," Éomer said.] They have to have guessed it. It has to be at least one of their guesses, or they would be stupid.

["For some reason it seems as if it can mute the terror it spreads."] ...That's terrifying.

["Now lean back and think of Rohan."] 8) Nice to have a moment of humor there.

I was confused the first time that I read the end of this chapter, three years ago. I have to confess, I'm confused again, reading it now. There are many quick shifts between very short scenes and perspectives, and since this is our first mention of the Hallows in the entire story,* I had to go look it up in LOTR and then come back again. So they thought that the cells in which the king was being kept were the new dungeons, but he was actually being held in the Hallows? Or the tunnel took them (ie. Eomer and the guys with him) to the Hallows and that's where they are looking, but Aragorn isn't there? But then who is the slumped figure at the end? Who is the one seeing? Who is the one speaking? I interpret "The cell was dark" as referring to the last of the cells that Eomer and the men with him are checking, but the scene several scenes previous ("They found them locked, but even through the small barred window the torch gave enough light for them to see. / Empty.") makes it sound as if they had already checked all of them. But then otherwise...

No, I'm afraid I'm still confused, but it's the kind of confusion where I don't know if that's because:
-I'm supposed to be confused
-something wasn't written as clearly as it could have been be
-or everything has been written as clearly as it could be and I'm just really misreading something.
Very likely the latter, because I looked at other people's reviews for this last chapter and I don't see that other people are experiencing any confusion. (Although I noticed Ruanis' critique re: Lothiriel, and while I'm ready to believe that Eomer really is just that impetuous, I still find it weird how they have a whole conversation between the two of them even though, as far as I can tell, her erstwhile suitor is standing right there...)

In the meantime, it does look like Golwen sold them out, and we get this reference from a mysterious speaker to "leave the Kings to us." This might just be a fake-out built into the narrative, but I'm not optimistic. Although it occurs to me belatedly, since we have some action set in the Hallows, that "leave the Kings to us" doesn't just necessarily refer to Aragorn and Eomer...
The Lauderdale chapter 21 . 11/12/2015
[Also, the orc-army was slow to react...] You guyyyys, seriously. This is why Sauron's gonna lose. 8/ (Please allow me this little irreverence, since everything else is so serious...)

[Éomer could not have guessed how their distraction would spread; it grew as with a life of its own, fired by the fury of a people driven beyond bearing.] One wonders sometimes what the thinking of these tyrants is, or if they are even thinking at all: going out of their way to provoke situations that they are then unable to contain. I realize they wanted to make an example, but how is that coherent plan: make an example so that the people are provoked to fury so that you can then...make another example? All viciousness aside, it's kind of silly.

["You know about these things." Éomer's voice was dry. Húrin did not answer.] This seems unnecessarily rude of Éomer. Aren't his own people a nomadic lot these days, constantly on the move to avoid the Enemy?

["They left not long ago, except for that corporal. He is still outside, guarding the stable door."] Jerky guy, but his tenacity is admirable. Isn't this the man who busted his arm when he went down and was left with a limp? And actually this later - "The corporal did not smirk, or leer, or sound anything other than annoyed to be disturbed" - suggests there may be more to the guy's actions than just willful jerkiness, because he could certainly show those more sadistic qualities at that point if he wished. While the gleam Fastred thinks he saw in the man's eyes may indeed have been real, I'm inclined to think the corporal is also actually a diligent man who is doing his job. Fastred did break the rules and make a target of himself, and he is in actual fact (even though the corporal doesn't know it for a fact) every inch the saboteur that the corporal's actions are supposed to be guarding against. So I'm going to tip my hat to this man, who did his job and who died for it. He actually took the right actions, even if he was working for the wrong people.

[If there had been enough light, he would have seen Bragloth's face. Would have seen it open and unguarded, and perhaps that would have made a difference. But it was dark, and Éomer did not see.] Gasp! A traitor? Or a man with misgivings that will trip them up later?

This, the ending, and much else in the chapter, do much to build the suspense.

-.-.-.-

Random typo things!

[He had to trust his ears; he could not risk to be seen.]
This may or may not be technically correct, but it rings very strangely on the ears. One would expect to see either "he could not risk being seen" or "he could not afford to be seen."

[The braches rustled in the wind again.]
Should be: "branches."

Any others that I caught have since been corrected in your AO3 version of this chapter, so I assume you already know about them.
Eryntar chapter 2 . 11/9/2015
Even after just two chapters, I am hooked.
A really interesting idea for an AU! It's so neat to see such a small change in the plot, ie Sam killing Gollum, to have such a large impact on the world. I can only imagine the pain Faramir is going through, and what he felt when Aragorn and Imrahil were brought to the Seventh level gates. To surrender is not something that comes to such proud men willingly, but I have a feeling that that choice will prove to be the right one, in the end.
Beautiful imagery and description, it's almost like walking straight into Tolkien's world. Your words and the way you express your characters and the settings are very akin to Tolkien, which would be a difficult thing to acheive. Just beautiful!
Also... I was so afraid that Imrahil had died in the battle before the Black Gate and almost cried in joy when he was brought as hostage. Of course, to be hostage and not be able to die on the battlefield is a terrible thing to wish on your favourite character, but I'm a wee bit selfish when it comes to Imri :)
Am looking forward to reading this and the next installment, and all the others afterwards!
ZMistress chapter 21 . 11/2/2015
Again, you're doing an excellent job with building tension. You make me care so much about these characters and I really want them to succeed while worrying (or rather anticipating) that they will fail. The great cliffhanger ending is just the icing on the cake for this.
And I also really want Échen to be okay. I hope he'll survive and maybe play a bigger role even if everything else goes downhill.
ZMistress chapter 20 . 10/19/2015
The chapter title didn't exactly make me expect a turn for the better but it's still heartbreaking that nothing seems to go right.
In the chapter's first half it wasn't quite clear for me whether the injured boy died or not until it was finally said explicitly. Maybe a sentence early on would make that clearer.
The ending with Faramir really touched me. I always loved him so much and seeing him broken is just so sad. Still, I need to know where this is will end.
Guest chapter 4 . 10/17/2015
This dialogue reminds me of certain other strategy meeting in Rivendell long ago ...
EpicFailOnline chapter 1 . 10/16/2015
I was so very excited to see that WtGGG II has been updated and was about to pounce when I remembered that I have no clue where the story was left ... and so I'm rereading the entire series. I'm struck again by how wonderful it is but I can't remember if I ever reviewed (probably anonymously as I'm usually too lazy to sign in). This is one of those uncommon stories where the number of reviews absolutely misleads browsers about the quality of the story - and I'm so glad I took a chance years ago when I read it for the first time. It seems a little absurd that this has anywhere under a thousand reviews.
Your writing resembles Tolkien's very strongly, and I love how you started this story as a historical recollection and perfectly pulled it off. I would say you linger rather less on descriptions than he did (and I mostly count that for a blessing), but the "voice" of the world he created has been maintained flawlessly.
I was a little unhappy to see what you did with Eowyn ... though it isn't out of character considering the circumstances and Tolkien did more or less the same thing, I suppose. There are just so few females given a significant part in the original story and I feel like she is being relegated to being Arwen 2.0. It's more like I'm disappointed in her, not you for doing that to her, if that makes sense. I don't actually remember if she has a futher part in this, but that is how I feel at this point. Have you ever read "The Price of Freedom" by Erin Lasgalen? That is Eowyn as I always wanted her, I highly recommend it.
I really like the way the opening and closing excepts from Eomer and Faramir respectively are so different and manage to show their personality. Eomer states facts as though writing a historical account, while Faramir is poetic and personal, like it was a memoir.
Anyway, I'll probably review here and there throughout my reread, but my overall feelings are "thank you for writing".
ZMistress chapter 19 . 10/10/2015
In spite of the chapter title, this was heartbreaking! Aragorn has never quite been my favorite character - not that dislike him - but seeing him suffer like this made me really care about him.
I'm very curious about Lothíriel and hope we'll get to see a lot more about her later on because I really liked her in this chapter.
ZMistress chapter 18 . 9/21/2015
Each chapter I wait with bated breath for desaster to strike. The athmosphere is so thick with foreboding and suppressive feelings. Once again I love how many details you use to make this story come to life and the Haradrim's letter was a great way to give even another angle on what happens. Amazing chapter!
ZMistress chapter 17 . 9/12/2015
I was really torn between feeling thrilled that we finally see Aragorn again and being heartbroken about the state he's in. And while I wish that things could take a turn for the better at last, there are these bits strewn in that don't bode well.
Great job with the steady build of tension. I'm looking forward to the climax so much, no matter how things will turn out.
ZMistress chapter 16 . 9/9/2015
I really love that you are taking the time for all these preparations and how the different characters deal with the hopelessness of the endeavour. It would have been tempting to skip much of this and go straight to the action but the story is so much richer for all the effort poured into it.

I also really adore Aduiar's character and the rare bits about his past we got in this chapter. I hope so much that he's going to survive the rescue attempt.
ZMistress chapter 15 . 8/31/2015
What I really like is how you enrich the story with all these background elements like how to care for horses and how the characters would speak with different accents even when they make an effort not to. It makes it all come alive.
I also loved how you show how nervous Mablung is by having him do all these unconscious gestures instead of only stating that he looks nervous. I just hope he didn't break during his time in prison.
ZMistress chapter 14 . 7/13/2015
I'm not sure whether I can take much more suspense. It's really so easy to get into the right mood with your writing. I love how you describe the city under Sauron's rule. All those little details create such a fitting, opressive athmosphere. Great work, really!
Kaguya 2.0 chapter 1 . 7/9/2015
Oh, wow. It's been several years since I read Tolkien, and my memory of some of the minor characters is rusty, but I was intrigued by the premise of this AU and decided to take a chance on it. And I'm glad I did!

First of all, I am astonished at how similar your prose is to Tolkien's. It's appropriately archaic when it needs to be, but still clear and easy to understand. One scene flows into the other effortlessly; as I read this chapter, I had the feeling of being swept along down a gentle river. Your pacing is perfect.

If anyone deserves to tackle the very ambitious AU scenario of Sauron victorious, it's you. All these details you include are totally believable within the context of Tolkien's work, and they're also heart-wrenching: Aragorn's fall, Eowyn's short-lived marriage to Faramir and her resolve at their parting, and particularly the mock coronation of Elessar.

Great work.
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